Days of Awe
Read the title story from AM Homes' dazzling new collection of short stories, Days of Awe, available now from Granta Books.
Kevin Jared Hosein’s ‘Passage’ is the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner from the Caribbean.
‘The message was cheerful, positive. I did not express weakness on my son’s behalf: this is a mother’s first rule.’
‘My greatest desire has always been to take people literally. It’s not the same as wanting to trust them, but it’s related.’
‘I want you to close your eyes. I want you to relax, let go. I want you to let your mind see as vividly as possible the images my words conjure up. And above all, no matter what I say, I want you to trust me.’
Sharing the same bed, dreaming different dreams
Ma Jian shows the excess and corruption of the Chinese Communist party in this excerpt from his new novel, China Dream, translated from the Chinese by Flora Drew.
I’ll Go On
‘Swish-swish, swish-swish. The sound fills the large space around them, and Nana finds this deeply satisfying.’
How Much Heart
A triptych of flash fiction by Mieko Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by David Boyd.
‘He comes all the way here after he died and the two of you are making small talk?’ New fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
‘Estuary English, the tongue of the river mouth, open vowels, clipped syllables that nonetheless spilled into one: I found it hard to listen to. The words snapped at my ears: malicious fish.’
A Time for Everything
‘It can almost seem as if God was genuinely concerned about mankind.’ Translated by James Anderson.
‘What’s wrong is that she cannot breathe.’ Samsun Knight’s ‘The Dive’ is the winner of the 2018 Disquiet Literary Prize
Brother in Ice
‘My brother is a man trapped in ice. He looks at us through it; he is there and he is not there.’
‘I was overcome by a feeling that took root then and has never left me, the feeling that in this land that was someone else’s country, I did not have a place to stand.’
The Rat Snipers
‘When they stand on their hind legs, arms up, wrists limp, rats can take on a beguiling sort of personhood.’
No Machine Could Do It
‘In the future we have to be as interesting to the AI as our pets are to us.’
Fathers and Sons
‘For a while it wasn’t clear how good he would become, and then it was. He went up the rankings, stopped, and started going down.’
‘I made tea while the astronaut sat at our kitchen table and gazed out the window.’
The Woman Dies
‘The woman dies. She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her.’ Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton.
Can infidelity make up for infidelity? New fiction from John Patrick McHugh.
The Restaurant of Many Orders
‘Two young gentlemen dressed just like British military men, with gleaming guns on their shoulders and two dogs like great white bears at their heels, were walking in the mountains where the leaves rustled dry underfoot.’
‘All those appetizing vessels exposed and available, O how delightfully vulnerable they are, it brings a tear to the eye.’
‘This journey around the outskirts of the Jungle went in a little and came out wondering, well that is not what I would have called a jungle.’
'Childhood felt like a waiting room, a transitory phase between birth and the life we wanted.'
Nuala O’Connor’s short story about Nora Barnacle, and her first meetings with James Joyce.
Rachel Reaches Out
‘She hit send and sighed as the email-whoosh came through her headphones. Theo was sitting at his desk less than six metres away.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace’.
'Andy doesn't like any of the names for what he does. He rejects 'impersonator', and resists 'tribute act', although he knows it comes closest.' From Chris Power's exceptional collection of short fiction, Mothers
Fishes and Dragons
An excerpt from ‘Fishes and Dragons’ a Lithuanian literary chinoiserie that addresses the interpretation by a European of Qing dynasty culture and art.
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’